LAWA River Water Quality National Summary 2020

LAWA shows water quality information for river sites throughout New Zealand. Rivers and streams are monitored for a range of water quality (chemical-physical and bacterial) and ecological indicators by regional and unitary councils, and the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research.

Water quality information is now available from 1500 river sites, up from 1100 sites six years ago when LAWA was initiated.  State and trends for these indicators have been updated for data up to the end of December 2019.

In this national picture summary, LAWA is focusing on the state of our rivers and streams, how it compares among different land cover types and how it has changed over time.

This summary provides some information on how water quality and stream health in New Zealand are tracking overall. However, it is important to note that this information only relates to sites where monitoring has been conducted. Monitored sites are often located in areas at greater risk from human activities, so these sites are not necessarily fully representative of all our rivers and streams.

In the future, we hope to further align our reporting with the recently released National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management 2020 (Freshwater NPS 2020) and include information from a wider variety of attributes when data becomes available over time.